We the people by Deb Meredith

Last night we saw history happen. The election of our first African American president in America. It makes me hopeful that great change is possible, and that we will be able to overcome other enormous obstacles as well.

This has been a long election battle, and I’m really ready for it to be over. But I’m glad that it dragged on long enough to engage our citizens in the democratic process. Maybe it’s because I lived in Washington DC for quite a few years, but I’m always amused by people who talk about “the government” as if it is some sort of strange alien being. The government is us, people! If you don’t like what the government is doing, then you’ve got to tell your elected officials. If they don’t listen, then you’ve got to go out and vote the bums out. That’s what a democracy is about. We the people. And yesterday we saw historic numbers of the American people voting.

The year I turned 18, I actually got to vote in a presidential election. I was so excited to do it, and prove I was an adult. My candidate didn’t win, but I felt like I was a part of the process. And it turned me into a life-long voter.

I haven’t missed an election since then, except some kind of vote for a judge that happened a few months ago in New York City. I felt really guilty about missing that one. I’m always amazed by apathetic voters. I guess they’re not as opinionated as I am. I rarely hold back from voicing my opinion, especially when asked. And voting for president really matters.

I hope all those first-time voters who turned out Tuesday get as addicted as I am to the process and go vote again in the next election. And convince their friends to vote. It’s time for the American people to decide elections, rather then just a select few. After all, we’re a democracy.

This election feels like it’s been going on for years. Can it really be over? I’ve been so full of anxiety this past year, and I’m so ready to move on to other concerns (revisions on my second book, marketing my first book, etc.). But it’s really thrilling this year to see so many people really involved in the election, whatever side they’re on. People are voting because they’re excited about their candidate and feel like their vote matters. And that’s how it should always be in a democracy.

14 Replies to “We the people by Deb Meredith”

  1. I worked the polls yesterday and each time I saw an obviously new voter come it, it just choked me up I felt so proud for them. We’re SO lucky to be able to vote, it’s a privilege no one should take for granted.

  2. You’re so right, Jenny! We can criticize this country all we want (it’s allowable by law!) but we have to admit it’s completely amazing that we have the right to go out and vote. Such an emotional day. I feel quite wrung out.

  3. I saw Tyler Perry on Oprah, and a camera crew followed him as he voted for the first time in Georgia (early voting.) I was astounded he had never voted before, but I suppose he felt alienated from the process.

    I hope everyone who got fired up by this election STAYS fired up at all levels of government.

  4. Here, here! I was so impressed by Obama’s speech last night. Love him or hate him, he’s brought people back to the political process and gotten us all thinking. I hope we can go forward now like grown ups and work together even if we don’t always agree. Our Founding Fathers did it. I’m sure we can, too.

  5. I hope everyone stays fired up, too, Kristina. And I hope we can move forward and work together as well, Tiffany. Goodness knows Obama is facing a whole host of problems. Sometimes I’m amazed that anyone wants the job of president. President’s families have to live in the spotlight, and the prez always ends up looking gray and exhausted at the end. Being a fiction writer is way easier!

  6. Eve called me late last night, oy, were we fahklempt. “We did it mom, you did it, I did it.” Josh (my son the writer), called a little later, voice scratchy…he had been driving for hours, preparing to go back to China for another travel book (available at Amazon.com) “We won mom, we won!”

    St. John called me, left a message on the phone, “Thanks for going to Philly to work the polls, we did it!”, I never heard his voice so excited!

    Bill my signficant other, left a message…(he had seen Clinton earlier in the week in NJ and poll watching on Staten Island), “we did it!”

    Yes WE did do it, Eve worked in NH…I worked in Philly and Delaware, Josh dragged his butt from Texas to Colorado to “do it”. Bill is a lawyer (and we don’t always agree on politics, but the Palin thing, just put this as a “no-brainer”) and he always is a poll watcher. We were part of this history making event. Wow…we do matter.

    My friends across the ocean…from Ireland…”Bless you, you did it!” Oh, were they watching us, were they ever. Eighty-five percent of the world were voting in their hearts and minds for American to practice what it preaches…and we did. Eve said to me…”Mom, I got my country back!” And I guess, the world who watches got “the shining light on the hill” back with a newer, strong and energy efficient light bulb lighting the way.

    I don’t expect everything to change in the blink of an eye, in fact I expect rough roads and some mistakes, and sadly anger. But we are evolving and today, I see proof of that.

    Yes, Sierra Rose, yes, Jeremiah Phillip, you can grow up to be president. More importantly, you might actually have a chance to grow up.

  7. Wow Eve’s mom–politics is clearly a family affair! I’m so glad to hear that you guys all went out and volunteered. I was amazed at how so many people made sacrifices to make a difference. I hope it does lead to a “unity of purpose”, Katie. We could certainly use it.

  8. I believe in DO AS I DO AND NOT AS I SAY, that is what teaches your children. I think Eve still remembers going to various “marches” for “freedom” for this and that with my mother and myself. It’s a “family affair”. Gosh, I hope it doesn’t skip a generation.

  9. Wow… quite the conversation going on here. I have been so wrung out and overwhelmed and still very emotional today, I tried to avoid the amazing online buzz. Trying to give myself some time to just absorb it all.

    I did, however, compose an inaugural poem for President Obama. Anyone know if they actually consider these sorts of things from us nobodies? Or do you just HAVE to be Maya Angelou?

  10. Oh, Meredith, I meant my grandchildren…I wonder what will move them to action.

    Eve, you are a published author…ask your agent. You do remember you started as a poet. And your poetry was quite amazing.

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